Improve Employee Engagement by Serving Team Leaders

Work today doesn’t happen in an org chart, it happens in dynamic teams,” Marcus Buckingham told the audience during his opening keynote at the 18th Annual HR Technology Conference.

Improve Employee Engagement by Serving Team Leaders

Each year 8,000+ HR leaders from around the world gather at the popular HR Technology Conference to learn about innovative ways in which they can get the work of HR done to benefit the business by engaging and inspiring employees to deliver results. Conference sessions highlight how today’s successful HR practitioners use the technology available to help team leaders by engaging job applicants, identifying employee strengths, and creating open organizations.

The concept of employee strengths is a topic about which Buckingham — one of the world’s leading authorities, researchers, and New York Times best-selling authors — has a lot of passion. Based on the research, interviews, and surveys Buckingham has conducted around the globe, he’s developed a theory that people get the best results if they focus on their strengths, rather than on their weaknesses or skill gaps.

At the core of his keynote message for HR leaders was the important role the team leader plays in an organization’s success. To engage employees, bring the organization to the next level, or improve an organization in any way, Buckingham argued that a focus on serving the team leader should be at the center of those efforts.

Serve the team leader

When it comes to engaging employees and driving performance, there’s a tendency to apply what’s working in one department or office or division to every other department, office, or division. But, according to Buckingham, that doesn’t work.

If you want to build a great organization, build great teams,” Buckingham said.

When it comes to HR technology, one way an organization can serve team leaders is by providing real-time information they can use to improve the team’s performance.

With an image from his teenage son’s FIFA video soccer game displayed on the huge conference hall screen, Buckingham illustrated how an organization can serve team leaders by providing them with relevant information about their team. For example, the coach who manages an imaginary FIFA soccer team has access to:

  • Stats for each player’s strengths
  • Information about each player’s past performance
  • Details about how the players work and fit together as a team

What might this data look like for a team leader in a business organization?

  • Individual employee strengths
  • Individual employee skills
  • Data about how your team members skills’ complement one another

With this information, a team leader can be strategic about where and how they utilize the strengths of each person on the team in order to deliver results. A successful organization provides team leaders with real-time data that’s easy to interpret, easy to use and, most importantly, easy to get excited about. (Just as Buckingham’s son gets excited about managing his imaginary FIFA team.)

This emphasis on...

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